Welcome to the Canucks Top 25 Under 25 Rankings, the series that makes you wish you were under 25 once again. The list includes all players born after January 1st, 1996. Five staff writers (Beggsy, Westy, CanucksAbbyFan2, Trevor Connors, Markus Meyer) and one former staff writer (Daniel Gee, Elite Prospects) cast votes for the project.
Before we start the list, however, let’s get to the notable omissions.
Oh, to be under 25 again.
Look, I have no reason to complain even if I’m at the ripe old age of 27. However, after the birth of my first child in October, the under 25 days do feel like a long time ago.
For the guys on this list, the under 25 days should feel like just yesterday because, well, they either just turned 25, or are soon to turn 25.
The names on this list are classified as notable omissions because they’ve aged out of our rankings. The players that qualified for the rankings but didn’t make the Top 25 will be highlighted in a different article.
Turned 25 on April 5th, 2020
2019-20 Stats: 69 GP, 22-31-53
The Canucks captain would surely rank near the top of the 25 Under 25 list if he qualified. Horvat increased his points-per-game total for the sixth-consecutive season, but he was most impactful for the Canucks in the playoffs, where he had 10 goals and two assists in 17 games. He was the goals leader in the playoffs until Brayden Point finally passed him in the Stanley Cup Final.
Turns 25 on December 8th, 2020
2019-20 Stats: 27 GP, 3.06 GAA, .905 save percentage
With a birthday this week, the Canucks 2014 second round pick will be 25 years old when the NHL season presumably begins in January. After showing promise as an NHL starter for years ever since he was a Hobey Baker nominee in college, Demko will begin the season as a starting NHL goaltender for the first time in his career.
Turned 25 on May 28th, 2020
2019-20 Stats (Utica, AHL): 57 GP, 7-38-45
Although he’s only played two NHL games, Brogan Rafferty has aged out Top 25 Under 25 eligibility. The late-bloomer was signed as a free agent out of college by the Canucks in 2019. During his first full professional season, Rafferty dazzled with offensive promise as one of the highest scoring defenders in the AHL. He enters the 2020-21 season on a one-way contract, and he has a reasonable chance of starting the season with the Canucks.
Turned 25 on March 10th, 2020
2019-20 Stats: 34 GP, 4-4-8
The Canucks Unsung Hero of the 2020 playoffs, Tater Tot Motte was a bottom-six sparkplug who earned a two-year contract extension in the offseason. He was the only player outside of the team’s top players who had more than two goals in the playoffs, when he scored four in the series against St. Louis.
Turns 25 on January 1st, 2021
2019-20 Stats (NHL, FLA/OTT): 26 GP, 3-7-10
Although Jayce Hawryluk doesn’t turn 25 before the end of 2020, he will turn 25 before the Canucks season begins, so we left him off of our rankings. The 32nd overall pick in the 2014 draft will aim to crack the Canucks bottom-six in the 2021 season. He could inject some speed an energy into the bottom of the line-up, which was lacking in the playoffs.